November 18

FDA adds 104 staffers to food safety branch

first_img See also: The newly hired CFSAN personnel are filling 91 new positions and 13 existing vacancies, according to a fact sheet that the FDA provided by e-mail. The additions amount to a 10% increase in the center’s staff, according to a Sep 11 Associated Press (AP) report. The hiring surge includes 245 staffers in the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs, which fields inspectors of food and other regulated products. Of the 245 jobs, 111 are new positions, the FDA said. In announcing the hiring push in April, the FDA said it was needed to implement the FDA Amendments Act of 2007 and two agency initiatives unveiled in the fall of 2007: the Food Protection Plan and the Import Safety Plan. Staff additions at the FDA’s other branches include 133 at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, 116 at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, 34 at the Center for Veterinary Medicine, and 22 at the National Center for Toxicological Research. In all, the FDA said it has filled 1,317 positions since it announced a major hiring initiative on Apr 30. The agency has 1,005 new employees on board, with another 158 due to begin by Sep 28. The rest of the candidates have accepted job offers but are still going through security procedures. Last December a special FDA committee reported that the agency had been badly weakened by a combination of ever-increasing responsibilities, inadequate funding, and a static work force over the past 20 years. The committee said the FDA had an obsolete information technology system and was losing its ability to keep up with scientific advances. About half of all the new employees—663—are joining the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), which evaluates new drug applications and monitors the safety of licensed drugs. In launching the hiring drive, the FDA said it had been granted direct-hire authority, which saves time by eliminating “certain rating and ranking preferences” when filling jobs for which there is a critical need. Apr 30 CIDRAP News story “Health group urges overhaul of US food safety system”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food/news/apr3008tfah.html Overall, there are 770 new positions and 547 “backfills,” the agency said. The FDA has a total of 10,144 employees, including 700 Commissioned Corps members. About 2,131 positions are funded by user fees this year, the agency said. Sep 12, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it has hired 104 people in its Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) in the past 5 months as part of a surge that has brought more than 1,300 new employees to the agency. “This is really just bringing them back to where they were in earlier years,” said William Hubbard, a former FDA associate commissioner who now leads a group lobbying for sustained increases in the agency’s budget. “It restores losses that they have incurred, but they still have a long way to go to where they can make improvements.” Some independent FDA observers quoted in the AP report called the new hiring push only a first step, though a sorely needed one. Arthur Levin, director of the Center for Medical Consumers in New York, said the FDA’s recruiting shows that public service is still attractive for highly specialized professionals, according to the AP. But he cautioned that the FDA has a history of letting such gains slip away, saying the agency hired more food inspectors after the attacks of Sep 11, 2001, but then gradually trimmed the program. Apr 30 FDA news release about the plan to hire 1,300http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01829.html The report of the staff increase comes after a summer of food safety turmoil linked mainly to the widespread and prolonged Salmonella outbreak associated with Mexican hot peppers. The FDA and other federal agencies drew considerable criticism because they initially suspected tomatoes as the culprit, and it took several weeks to determine that peppers were involved. More than 850 of the 1,005 new staff members are in scientific and medical fields, including chemists, biologists, pharmacologists, medical officers, consumer safety officers, statisticians, general health scientists, and microbiologists, the FDA said. But no breakdown of the types of jobs included in the 104 CFSAN positions was available today. About 500 of the 1,317 new employees will be paid with funds from user fees the FDA charges firms seeking FDA approval for new drugs and devices, according to the fact sheet. “No funding will be diverted from other programs to hire new personnel,” the statement says. Dec 5, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Report says stingy funding has put FDA in crisis”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food/news/dec0407fda.htmllast_img read more

August 28

Black Stars striker wants DNA tests on kids

first_imgEx-Ghana striker Arthur Moses says his kids will undergo DNA tests to ascertain their paternity as messy divorce cases involving Ghanaian footballers grows. The former Marseille attacker has warned current Ghanaian players to be careful of the women they marry, claiming majority of them are gold-diggers.This comes after DNA tests revealed that ex-youth star Nii Odartey Lamptey did not father all his three kids with his wife Gloria.Odartey case was followed by John Mensah’s divorce case through the law courts which has prompted Moses to opt for DNA tests to ascertain whether his kids are his as he is embroiled in a legal tussle with his wife.“I have not seen my kids for five years now because she won’t allow it,” Moses told Hot FM.“I have taken what Odartey went through to heart and I intend to carry out a DNA test as soon as I set eyes on them.”Several Ghanaian footballers are married to flamboyant women and many suspect that there are more reasons to marriages between footballers and the flashy girls than love. This has prompted Moses’ advice to the players that most of these women come after them because of the high wages they earn from their clubs abroad. “These our young boys should be very careful. Look at me and Odartey and John Mensah and learn,” the former Marseille striker warned.“Most of them (our wives) are with us because we are wealthy and are looking for the slightest chance to take all we have worked for.”Moses, who was among one of Ghana’s highest earning players in his prime in France, revealed the extent of the problem with his wife who wants all his property.“I don’t want to talk too much about my wife’s situation since it is in court but I am warning the stars of today to be wary of their wives,” he said.“Look at my wife . I have built two houses for her, along with another for her mother telling a court that I told her never to work and promised to share all my property with her. “Now the court wants me to give her my three other houses, buy her land and build her a shop.”Several other Ghanaian footballers who plied their trade in Europe have divorced their wives and many more are expected to happen.last_img read more

July 27

Measuring the Impact of Viral EMail Marketing

first_imgE-mail marketing is a tool that allows for a wide range of measurements when it comes to prospect interactions. Because of this, complete accuracy can sometimes be an issue. Estimates can bring you within the ball park, but they can leave something to be desired in regards to precision. When an e-mail goes viral, it is forwarded from one person to the next, constantly picking up speed with every mailing. And this can be measured – assuming you use a special form.Using this form through your website, you can track who sends and receives your e-mail, allowing you to index all of the people that have seen your e-mail. IP-tracing is also a way to track e-mails, but it’s less accurate than the form method as there are variables involved.Next time you’re looking to measure the success of your e-mail marketing campaign, just track its progress.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more